It was breaking news when Karen Handel, the Senior Vice President for Public Policy and chief lobbyist for Susan G. Komen for the Cure resigned after Planned Parenthood’s funding was restored.
Earlier in the month, on February 7, Handel sent a lengthy letter of resignation to CEO Nancy Brinker, citing the reason why she was leaving and her opinion on the matter.
Politics aside, this story got me thinking a lot about quitting, resigning, leaving, or whatever you choose to call it.
Was Handel’s quitting strategy the right way to go about business? If you’re planning on leaving your job, what is the best path to follow?
Everyone’s situation is different, so I don’t have all the answers. I do, however, have some tried and true tips anyone can use when “I quit!” comes to mind:
Think about it
Despite what the movies and television might lead us to believe, it is not a smart idea to spontaneously quit. No, shoving your computer off your desk and throwing your papers in the air is simply bad form. It might feel good in a dream, but dealing with the consequences afterward just are not worth it.
If quitting has come to mind, consider where you’re headed. Do you have another job lined up? Do you have money in the bank? Thinking ahead can keep you from coming back to your boss two days later begging for your job back.
Timing is everything
Before you go into work tomorrow and quit, consider the timing. Do you have a big project you’re about to finish up? Maybe you have a bonus coming up. Leaving at a time that’s good for you and the company can help ease the transition.
Another timing tip to keep in mind is what day of the week you plan to quit. Michael Spiro of Recruiter Musings suggests that the best time to quit is on a Friday afternoon. According to Spiro, it “gives your boss less time to react, ask questions or to argue, and gives everyone the weekend to calm down, absorb, and accept the news.”
Review your contract
Think back to when you were hired. Did you sign any contracts of employment? These papers are absolutely crucial now because they do have information about resignation in them. What does your contract say about quitting? Are you required to give two week’s notice? Is there a severance package involved? How will your last paycheck be handled?
Know the answers to these questions so that you know what to ask in your letter of resignation.
Keep it cool
Quitting your job can be a very emotional experience. If you’re quitting because of something that is going on at work, your letter of resignation can seem like a solid place to let it rip.
Don’t do this.
Keep your letter and any in-person meetings calm, polite, and focused. Your supervisor might be downright evil, but you don’t want to burn any bridges with your boss or colleagues.
Know who to go to
Last, but not least, know to whom you must send your letter of resignation. In larger companies, the HR department might handle it while in others, it might be your immediate supervisor or even the founder.
When going to that person, make sure they aren’t wrapped up in something or talking to other people. Respect is the key to making your resignation as smooth as possible.
Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and Talent Connection. And, connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.